Importance of using a Mouthguard

From contact to non-contact sports, there is always a risk of injury, even to your teeth. Many sports such as football, lacrosse, and wrestling require or suggest that we wear mouthguards while playing or practicing, and ice hockey is one such example of a sport where a mouthguard can be the difference between you keeping or losing your teeth. While sometimes it may seem like a pain, wearing a mouthguard is critical to preventing sport-related dental injuries.

Most recently, there has been a movement among athletic organizations and leagues and recreational councils to institute more rules and safety measures for their participants. While these rules may seem to just get in the way, these rules will actually keep you safe and avoid costly dental injuries. Multiple councils have emerged working to promote orofacial protectors such as mouth guards.

When picking out a mouthguard, there are multiple things to keep in mind. First, no matter your gender, skill level, etc. you need a mouthguard. Even if you do not think there is a chance of collision or damage to your mouth, you are wrong. There is always a risk of dental injuries in contact and non-contact sports and recreational and competitive leagues. Women are just as frequently affected as men, and gender is no excuse not to use a mouthguard.

Second, the fit of your mouthguard is extremely important. If the mouthguard does not fit properly, it will not be as capable of preventing injury. Making sure you get a mouthguard that fits is just as critical as wearing a mouthguard. There are three different types of mouthguards on the market. These are ready-made, boil and bite, and custom made. One is not necessarily better than the other. Usually, it depends on you, your mouth, and your preferences.

Third, pick a mouthguard that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This seal means that it has been scientifically proven to demonstrates safety and efficacy by a council dedicated to your oral safety. By choosing an approved mouthguard, you even further reduce your risk of sport-related dental injuries.

By using a mouth guard, you can greatly reduce your risk of sport-related dental injuries and promote better oral health. Often, it is lack of knowledge or lack of a requirement that hinders people from getting a mouthguard. Know that you know why mouthguards are important, make wearing one a requirement for all of your sports related activities.


Will I Need Braces?

Around the time of middle school, you will likely begin to see a lot of kids wearing braces. At that point, we start to wonder, will my child need braces? Here is what you need to know.

Not everyone needs braces, some people have naturally straight teeth with no problems. However, many of us do need braces whether for aesthetic reasons or due to overcrowding on our mouths. It is also possible you think your bite should be adjusted.

No matter the reason the first step in knowing whether or not you need braces is speaking to your dentist. They will able to refer you to an orthodontist that can talk to you about your options. Most people see an orthodontist for the first time between the age of seven and fourteen. While the earlier the better, it is not uncommon now for adults also to be seeing an orthodontist and having braces.

However, if you are impatient and want to get a general idea of the various signs you may need braces before talking to your dentist, here are some of the top signs you need braces:

  1. Crooked teeth. The main purpose of braces is often to make your teeth straighter. Therefore, if you can tell your teeth are not straight, you may need braces. Plus, it is interesting to note people who lose their baby teeth relatively early in life tend to need braces more often than people who do not. This is because their adult teeth were growing and coming in while they still had baby teeth or the adult teeth could have taken longer to grow in. As a result, the teeth may not have come in as straight or as normally as for people who lost their baby teeth later on.

  2. Crowded mouth. Another big reason people get braces is because their mouth is overcrowded. When your mouth is overcrowded, there are simply too many teeth in your mouth. This leads to an inability to clean the teeth properly and other dental issues. In some cases, teeth may have to be pulled to make room in your mouth. If this is the case, braces will be needed after to realign your teeth.

  3. Jaw shifts. Some people have an issue with their jaw moving or making sounds. This is a result of an issue with the formation of your teeth and jaw line. While less common, this is a problem that orthodontists can help address.

  4. Underbite, overbite, crossbite, and openbite. These four different problems are very similar and all have to do with the alignment and overlap of your teeth. An overbite is the vertical and horizontal overlap of the front teeth, which causes the front teeth to stick out farther than the bottom teeth. A crossbite is when the upper tooth is behind the lower tooth, and an underbite is when all of the upper front teeth are behind the front lower teeth. Finally, an open bite is when the front teeth do not touch. While these are all slightly different, they share some things in common. While you may want to get them fixed for aesthetic reasons, there problems all have other medical problems associated with them that would lead someone to need to be treated.

  5. Hard time chewing food. This may just seem like a nuisance, but it actually is bad for your teeth and overall health. Usually this is caused by the teeth being improperly aligned of there being large gaps between teeth. Braces can easily fix this problem.

These are just the top five signs you may need braces. Knowing whether or not to get braces is an important decision, one that should be done with the help of your dentist and orthodontist. To get help with this decision, contact an oral health care professional.


The 5 Secrets to Fresh Breath

No one likes bad breath. The problem is that sometimes it can seem like you brush and brush and use breath mint after breath mint, but the smell just won’t go away. The secret to fixing bad breath though isn’t as secret as you may think.

Bad breath is not a direct result of poor oral hygiene. In fact, the bad smell comes from bacteria stuck inside your mouth. When the bacteria lingers, not only does your breath smell, but the bacteria multiply and the smell gets worse. Naturally then, brushing your teeth is the biggest way to eliminate that bacteria and get rid of the smell.

However, there are plenty of other ways to fight it. We have come up with a few simple tricks to cure bad breath.

  1. Use mouthwash and floss. Both of these go beyond simply brushing to help eliminate bacteria in your mouth, and the less bacteria, the better your breath. Flossing is especially important as it can remove food particles from hard to reach areas. If left unattended, the food will only lead to more and more bacteria.

  2. Try antacids if you have GI problems. Often, GI issues cause the bad smell in your mouth from a result of burping. By using antacids, you can put your stomach at ease.

  3. Watch what you eat. What you eat can both help and hurt you. Some foods such as yogurt can boost the good bacteria in your mouth and help your stomach. This ultimately leads to better breath. At the same time, foods such as onions and garlic that have a strong odor linger after you eat them. These food also have particles that are hard to remove from your mouth and will lead to more bacteria. You can either try to avoid these foods, or you can make a point to brush and floss immediately afterwards so that the particles cannot stick around creating more bacteria.

  4. Drink more water. One of the easiest ways to fix bad breath is to drink more water and get rid of your dry mouth. Without sufficient water, your body will not be able to produce enough saliva to clear bacteria in your mouth. Drinking less coffee and more water is the way to go.

  5. Stay healthy and treat congestion. Bad breath is often a sign of poor overall health, and it often accompanies illnesses such as sinus infections. By treating your congestion or sinus infection right away, you are also treating your bad breath.

If you try these five things, your breath should be smelling better in no time, and you no longer need to be embarrassed. Worrying about how your breath smells will be a thing of the past.


Top 4 Reasons to Replace a Missing Tooth

First, while it may seem silly, appearance matters, and we should take pride in the way we look. While this may seem vain, it is important to realize it is okay to want to have a beautiful and complete smile. In fact, missing a tooth could have a negative impact on your long term self-esteem. It is not wrong to want to replace it for that reason.

The second reason is bone resorption, or bone loss as it is more commonly referred to. The absence of a tooth can cause the jawbone to deteriorate. It also causes the deterioration of the surrounding teeth. Overall, this loss of one tooth will change the shape of your face and lips. While one may first think it is only one tooth, the actual long term implications has an effect on your entire mouth and face.

Thirdly, not replacing a missing tooth leads to an increased risk for gum disease. This void where your tooth once was becomes an area built for trapping bad cavity-causing bacteria. Again, this can lead to bone decay in surrounding teeth.

Finally, the quality of your life will be affected. Simple things such as your ability to eat certain foods or to speak clearly could be taken away. Your teeth allow you to bite, chew, and tear into your food. Not having even one tooth can alter your ability to eat. This can lead to even further nutritional issues. Your teeth are also key to pronunciation and the formation of sounds. Missing a tooth can cause the sound of your words to change and there is even the potential of developing a lisp.

If you have any questions or concerns about a missing tooth, please contact your dentist. They will be happy to answer any questions, or even assist you in making your decision.


Time To Make Your Dental New Year’s Resolution

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in a new year, it’s time to think about those all too allusive New Year’s resolutions. I am sure you like many people remained firmly dedicated to your New Year’s resolutions in 2016, but now it’s a new year and time for a new resolution.

This year, instead of trying a big, time consuming resolution like trying to lose ten pounds, focus on something small and easy that will make just as big of an impact on your health. For 2017, we challenge you to floss everyday.

You may think that flossing everyday will not make a big impact on your health, but that is not true. In fact, flossing everyday can have a dramatic effect on your oral and overall health.

First and foremost, flossing is one of the best lines of defense to protect yourself from plaque and much more serious gum and tooth issues. Without flossing, plaque can build up, and when this occurs, the gums can become inflamed, leading to a condition known as gingivitis, and tooth decay can begin. Naturally then, flossing will also prevent cavities.

Second, in research performed at the New York University College of Dentistry, flossing has been shown to significantly reduce periodontal disease, as well as cavity-causing bacteria that leads to the plaque discussed earlier. The researchers found that by flossing everyday people will see a decrease in gingival bleeding and a decrease in microbial species associated with periodontal disease.

Finally, flossing will simply keep your teeth healthy and clean. As a result, your smile with stay merry and bright for the rest of the holiday season and all of 2017. Happy New Year and remember to floss!